Welcome everyone to my stop the BLAZEWRATH GAMES Blog Tour! I am so excited to be sharing this post with you all today! I had so much fun reading this book, writing this review aaaand creating art for my tour stop so I hope you all enjoy my chaos today!
I would like to thank Caffeine Book Tours for hosting this tour, choosing me to take part and supporting this amazing new Latinx Fantasy novel that is sure to take the world by storm!
~ THE BOOK ~
Title: Blazewrath Games
Author: Amparo Ortiz
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 06 October 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
BUY THE BOOK!
Experience the World Cup with dragons in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which riders and their steeds compete in an international sports tournament.
Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.
But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.
~ MY REVIEW ~
It’s simple. This book was amazing!
I have to start with how much I enjoyed the World Cup vibes we got from it. If Blazewrath were real, I would 10/10 be watching it every two years. I got that same giddiness and high energy that comes with getting to cheer for your team on a world stage! Reading about Lana’s excitement about watching and then getting her dream to compete only intensifies this feeling of pride and delight! (Who hasn’t dreamed of competing in a cup to represent their people!??) Best of all this book brought in and embraced the international love!! I mean a book where a major world event actually features an entire cast of international characters outside of the USA??? YUP. It is absolutely wonderful!!!!
It might take place in an alternate universe of our world, but it felt like a whole new place! I loved that this book explores world building not only in text, but in excerpts of journals and interviews! I loved how these snippets set up the chapter and gave us insight into the history of Blazewrath and dragon origins! It honestly explains so much and deliciously teases readers about what is going to happen next!
I loved Lana! She was fierce, ambitious and did everything with heart. She was kind of just thrown into this chaos and gladly allows it because this has been her dream. She was also the ultimate fangirl! Like who wouldn’t totally squeal when they meet their heroes?? That’s not to say her dream works out perfectly! As she struggles to find her spot on this team, understand her relationship to Puerto Rico, deal with some family drama and figure out the shady things going on behind the scenes, Lana Torres is character that will wiggle her way into your heart and make it home as you embark on this dragon filled journey together!
This book has an incredible and diverse supporting cast! Team Puerto Rico was a boatload of fun! As per my usual style, my heart softened for the comedic relief, Luis. He knew how to crack a joke and lighten the mood and I adored him. You know who my heart did not soften for? Victoria. I’m sorry…it just…it took a while for me to even tolerate her. And ahh there were so many others who shone in the spot light that brought so much richness and fun to this novel! Others could have choked…but I guess those characters are necessary to stir rage too. And rage can be fun XD
I loved that this book focused on building friendships and how difficult it is to be the newbie or late comer! Lana really felt like she had to prove herself to her teammates and that’s not easy! I liked that we got to see her transition from seeing them as her idols and then her equals! There is no romance, but it honestly isn’t necessary! The growing bonds between these teammates and Lana sort of feels like a found-family trope and pulls on the heartstrings enough.
We were promised magic and dragons and we got ’em! Ortiz really wove these mythical creatures into the fabric of the world by giving them national origins which I found so unique! I also like that the dragons themselves had personality too, so those How To Train Your Dragon vibes were strong! And if dragons aren’t enough for you, witches also exist in this world! Lana’s bff Samira is a witch with enough sass and finesse to charm anyone! We get to go wand shopping and transporting and get so many more glimpses into the witch life! The book really takes on the complex politics between humans and witches and dragons. Things can get complicated with so many different views, but it honestly adds to the drama and twistiness of the novel.
This book pulls on the heartstrings! I wasn’t expecting to be hurt and lo and behold I got hurt! So while I felt those happy and giddy feelings of being in the atmosphere of this world event, it also had it’s really sad and hard moments. One in particular that I don’t think I am quite over yet!
Overall, this was a fun and exciting new fantasy adventure! It’s evenly-paced, has some amazing plot-twists and features an incredible cast of characters! Lana is sure to capture the hearts of many readers as the ultimate fan girl finally living her dream and then fighting for a better world! The energy and scandal of Blazewrath is a force that will surely pull readers in and have them cheering on for their favourite characters! With wonderful world-building and magic woven into each turn of the page, this book is sure to knock the socks off of many readers!
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Recommend?: Yes! Read all the Latinx fantasy!!!
~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical.
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~ MY ART ~
To pay homage to Lana’s role as the Puerto Rican flag bearer, I decided to paint her holding the flag as if she were posing for one of her promotional portraits!! I had a lot of fun designing and creating this so enjoy!
~ FOLLOW THE TOUR ~
Check out the Tour Schedule to read other wonderful reviews and creative posts!
Let me know what you think! Are you looking forward to reading this book? What are your favourite dragon books? Given the options between being a witch or dragon rider, what would you choose?
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